The Firehouse Theatre delivers award-winning live theatre, with Broadway hits like “Grease,” “Gypsy,” “The Music Man” and “Little Mermaid Jr.” Our mission is to present imaginative live performances and training through engaging artistic expression. We are an artistic community and catalyst for growth and education where generations are inspired, spirits are nourished, and thoughts are challenged.
In 2011, a group with a strong desire to promote and support theatre arts founded The Farmers Branch Community Theatre. A search committee identified historic Fire Station #1 on Valley View Lane as the ideal new location.
The Firehouse Theatre Board of Directors kept the theatre afloat initially relying on the generosity of members, performing in community venues, including the public library and local restaurants. In 2014, Firehouse Theatre volunteers began transforming Fire Station #1 into a theatre devoted to artists and patrons. In 2015, the board hired me to lead the non-profit through targeted renovations of better seating, air conditioning and ADA compliance. The Firehouse Theatre remained committed to bringing audiences award-winning productions like “Mary Poppins,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Billy Elliott the Musical” that increased community awareness, resulting in greater financial success and a broader reach for area talent.
In 2017 the City of Farmers Branch decided to end the facility use fee and provided a generous grant from the hotel occupancy tax revenue. The impact of this change enabled Firehouse to pay all royalties in advance, locking in the season and relieving financial pressure for the first time.
Focus on strategic planning and fundraising took center stage in 2017. The Firehouse Theatre first participated in North Texas Giving Day in 2016. The next year we followed NTxGD recommendations for marketing, utilizing yard signs and graphics, implementing a “Why I Give” Facebook campaign, and successfully engaging a matching donor. The number of patrons giving grew by 60%; contributions increased 3.5 times, from $5,800 to $20,100! As a result, NTxGD is one of Firehouse’s strongest development activities appealing to individual donors.
In 2018, we are experiencing a wave of successes following two years of award-winning shows and sellout performances. We branded our education and youth initiatives under Firehouse JR and are hosting our first annual “Curtain Call” gala on Friday, October 12, featuring our 2019 Season reveal. We are keeping our eyes on the prize with greater participation in North Texas Giving Day events and capitalizing on increasing our matching donors.
By David Moore, The Firehouse Theatre executive director
* Photo credit: Pendleton Photography ** Graphic provided by The Firehouse Theatre
In nine years, Communities Foundation of Texas‘ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $195 million into the North Texas community. In 2017, $39 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.
On Thursday, September 20, support The Firehouse Theatre by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay